The following books by Hamilton and Kirkland alumni have been added to the Burke Library collection. We welcome other new or recent books for annotation in upcoming issues of the Alumni Review. Bibliographic information for ordering purposes may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or, preferably, copies of books to Bookshelf Editor, Alumni Review.
Nin Andrews ’80, Southern Comfort (Fort Lee, N.J.: CavanKerry Pr., 2009). Gifted with “a strange and wickedly accurate imagination,” the author, in this her latest work, turns to the pages of her family album as inspiration for her highly inventive prose poetry. Drawing upon memories of growing up in the South, the poems are peopled with characters and happenings that elicit humor and pathos, making this slim volume a compelling read.
Julie B. Genovese ’85, Nothing Short of Joy (Lake Forest, Calif.: Behler Publications, 2010). An engrossing memoir written with great candor, Julia Bond Genovese’s story is tremendously moving. Born a dwarf and with degenerative arthritis, she confronted physical limitations (and multiple surgeries) as well as frustration, self-doubt and even heartache before taking charge of her own life and ultimately finding “joy.” Included are her experiences during her days on College Hill. An account of courage and triumph over adversity, it is both insightful and inspiring. At home in New Jersey with her husband Bill and two sons, Julie Bond Genovese continues to write and paint when not busy as a mom.
Ellen Horan K’78, 31 Bond Street: A Novel (New York: HarperCollins, 2010). Based upon an actual 19th-century New York City murder case, this novel, the author’s first, combines fact with fiction and mystery with history, resulting in a riveting read. Students of history will welcome her meticulous re-creation in fascinating fashion of New York as it was in 1857, and those who simply enjoy a good mystery story will find her book hard to put down. “A tale of murder, sex, greed and politics” involving a widow accused of brutally stabbing to death a society dentist, it includes “a juicy trial, sensationalistic reporters, and lots of urban color.” The author, who resides in Manhattan, is a book and magazine photo editor whose inspiration for the novel came from a yellowed newspaper page she chanced upon in a local print shop.
Doug Lemov ’90, Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010). Drawing upon his own extensive teaching experience, the author, managing director of Uncommon Schools (which trains school leaders and teachers) and former vice president of accountability for the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute, offers specific and practical guidance for effective teaching. Featured in an article in The New York Times Magazine (March 2, 2010), he has received unusual attention for his efforts to improve teaching skills and “close the achievement gap.” As reflected on the Internet, his book has been greeted with a highly positive response from primary and secondary school teachers, both new and experienced. Those who have not already encountered this “how to” manual may well find it rewarding to do so.
Philip D. O’Neill, Jr. ’73, Verification in an Age of Insecurity: The Future of Arms Control Compliance (New York: Oxford Univ. Pr., 2010). In light of current concerns over nuclear proliferation, this is a particularly timely book. It addresses and thoroughly examines arms control issues, pointing out the urgent need for updating verification standards and compliance policy to meet today’s increasing threats to international security. The analysis goes beyond “rogue” states such as North Korea and now Iran to encompass threats from non-state sources as well. The author, who has an international law practice based in Boston and is an adjunct professor of national security law at Boston University Law School, chaired Sen. John Kerry’s Foreign Policy Task Force during the 2004 presidential campaign. This book, an outgrowth of his impressive two-volume National Security and the Legal Process, published by Oxford University Press in 2008, is a major contribution to the illumination of a crucial international issue.
Stephen G. Rabe ’70, John F. Kennedy: World Leader (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Bks., 2010). Called “the finest study of John F. Kennedy’s foreign policy to date,” this judicious appraisal of JFK’s impact on the international scene is richly sourced and lucidly written. The author, a professor of history who holds the Arts and Humanities Chair at the University of Texas at Dallas, has provided a comprehensive assessment of President Kennedy’s role during times of extreme tension and crisis when the Cold War was at its height.
Kamila Shamsie ’94, Burnt Shadows (New York: Picador, 2009). The fifth novel by the Pakistan-born author who majored in creative writing at Hamilton. “An epic narrative of love and betrayal,” it is also described as the author’s most ambitious work to date. With a historical sweep extending from World War II Japan to the current war in Afghanistan, it focuses on characters caught up in personal as well as political turmoil.
Jonathan Tittler ’67 (translator), Changó, the Biggest Badass (Lubbock: Texas Tech Univ. Pr., 2010). Long considered one of the masterpieces of Latin American literature, this epic novel by the late Afro-Colombian author Manuel Zapata Olivella has now been translated into English. First published in Spanish in 1983, it comprises the story of Africans in the Americas through five centuries and is described by its translator as “the Don Quixote of African-American literature.” Now a professor of Hispanic studies at Rutgers University-Camden, he slowly and painstakingly worked on the translation over a period of 15 years, and the project helped greatly to motivate him while struggling and recovering, with relapses, from bone marrow cancer.
Sarah E. Ullman ’85, Talking About Sexual Assault: Society’s Response to Survivors (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2010). With this book, the author, a professor of criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois, Chicago, makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of sexual assault and its traumatic effect on the victim as well as the reactions of others to it. Based on extensive research, along with interviews with assault survivors and their support providers, she places rape in its social context and challenges “the rape culture” by offering recommendations for research, treatment and intervention leading to change. “Powerful, insightful and provocative,” this book is must reading for anyone who works with sexual assault victims or for anyone seeking to understand the impact of such violence not only on the victim but on others involved.